Friday 28 April 2017

Unions want €600 pay rise for members to match Garda deal

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke

Anne-Marie Walsh

Unions for 250,000 public servants will seek a €600 pay rise for each of their members on the back of a €50m Garda deal at new talks in May.

Public servants have already won around €400, or about €38 extra a fortnight over the next five months, as a result of a package offered to gardaí to stop them going on strike last November.

The latest wage deal was brokered during talks with Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe's department, following a union outcry over the Garda deal.

It applies to public servants except gardaí, who have not signed up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, earning up to €65,000.

Sources said unions would now seek another €600 on top of separate demands for further pay rises at new talks on a successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

The unions have put the value of what each garda is getting over and above their members at €1,000.

Read more: Paschal Donohoe: How we spend public money is a painful but key lesson of the crash

Sources said unions agreed that a further €600 was outstanding as a result of the Garda concession.

Although the Garda deal was worth €4,000 a head, unions believe only certain elements of it went beyond what was acceptable under the Lansdowne Road deal. They include an increase in rent allowance and a new payment linked to holidays, worth about €1,000 a year.

Union leaders have told their members that the recent deal therefore does not match what gardaí received, and some describe it as a "down payment".

Negotiations

In a message to members, the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) said it would not have been possible for the 19 public sector unions to win Government and Opposition approval for additional public service-wide payments on the scale of the Garda deal this year.

"That's because there are only about 12,630 gardaí - compared with over 250,000 other grades across the entire public service," it said.

But it said that there was an "acceptance politically" that the outstanding "anomalies" caused by the Garda outcome can be addressed in the next negotiations.

Mr Donohoe announced that talks on a successor to Lansdowne Road would take place in the middle of this year.

Previously, ministers had insisted that talks would take place closer to the end of the deal in September 2018.

This means that further pay rises could be awarded next year as the talks can end and go to ballot before the Government considers Budget 2018, to be announced in October.

Irish Independent

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